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Next month I will be graduating from university in the UK with a Master's degree in Astrophysics and in October I will be starting my PhD at a different UK university.

I have seen some academic CVs that list the PhD supervisors that person had, alongside the usual information such as the institution and start/ finish date.

I suppose the advantage of including your supervisor's name on your CV is so that a person reading it can get an idea of the kind of work you're doing (if you don't have any publications of your own yet and if they know what your supervisor's research interests are) and how you fit into their network via the supervisor.

As someone with currently a very short academic CV, is it ok for me to include the names of my Master's and PhD supervisors? What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?

Note that I know who my future PhD supervisor is.

  • 1
    The only reason I can think against including your supervisors' names on your CV is if some of them have bad reputation. But even if that is so, it may be beneficial to still include their names, as to get in front of the issue. – 101010111100 Jun 22 '17 at 14:39
  • Best possible way would be a link to your thesis, don't you think? – Horst Grünbusch Jun 22 '17 at 14:41
  • @HorstGrünbusch that's a great idea, I'm going to do that now. – astronat Jun 22 '17 at 14:50
  • In short, yes.. – The Guy Jun 22 '17 at 17:19
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Additionally, your supervisors might have written you letters of recommendation for grad school (or could in the future for other grant applications). Thus, mentioning your former supervisors is a form of acknowledgement and transparency for other researchers or research institutions.
I totally agree with the former comments that in 90 %, it won't harm you.
In case you are completely unsure, you could ask your former supervisors whether they are okay with it (but I would be surprised if there is an academic scholar who says no)

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Unless your Supervisor(s) are well known in the field, it would not help much to add them. Since every PhD has supervisors, it won't add any more value to the CV.

Also, if your Supervisor(s) enjoy any degree of clout, authority, cult status, following, awards & recognition like Fields/Nobel/etc, it would add a lot of value to your CV.

It would, however, be a good practice to add their names to a separate 'References' list at the end of your CV with contact information. Supervisors are great go-to sources for information on a scholar's work ethic, performance record, 360-degree assessment, etc and providing transparent references instead of 'references will be provided on request' can send a signal that you have nothing to hide.

All the above are very subjective, however.

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    I include them on the CV, because you never know who they might know that might give you leverage. I've definitely contacted folks I wanted to work with on research, and then found out that they are personal friends with my advisor. I would never have known that if not for including my advisor's name on my CV. – James S. Nov 21 '17 at 5:45

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